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My Journey to Power

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Hi John

That's great.  It all came together.  You will make an outstanding team lead.

If we don’t meet here maybe in nz sometime.



Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and Kavalier have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanKavalier

Congratulations, John! It feels great to read that you are in a good moment in your career! I wish you success!

Lucio Buffalmano and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Thank you very much Transitioned and Kavalier!

I’m still around, just less so: gotta focus on this challenge!

I’ll keep you all updated.

Lucio Buffalmano, Jack and Kavalier have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJackKavalier

Hello everyone,

so far the new job is going well.

I had a head nurse who was too curt on the phone when it was not even her business (I thought I was talking to the nurse who was actually doing the work). I was being warm and kind over the phone. So I went and I ask to whom I was speaking to. The nurse told me it's her boss. So I asked her to come and told her I found her too curt. She told me that it was me who was too curt (not true at all, the people listening to the call confirmed), so classic counter-attack of accusing somebody of the same thing you're accusing them of. So I ignored and I went full diplomatic/conflict resolution we went "thank you thank you good bye good bye" and went on our way. But now she's on my radar as a potential manipulator.

The challenge I'm facing currently comes from the resident physicians (who would have thought so?). It's two female, 26-28 y.o ish. They are from middle upper class (their last names and one of them: her father is a physician, her mother is and brother as well). So I would say they have a "bourgeois" syndrome. That is that I'm assuming that their whole life they had positive reinforcement, which gave them good self-confidence (I cannot judge their self-esteem). So they are quite arrogant in my view. One of them is triangulating (with other colleagues, with my boss) and has refused a direct order from my boss (I'm going to talk to her about it). Maybe the reason was debatable and maybe she was right but it's her attitude. When I told her the order, she said basically "I'm going to do differently". I was leaving so I did not want to get into a fuss and I was not entirely sure how to react (hence why I'm going to take advice to my boss). So I told her: "the boss said so, now you do whatever you want", which was a mistake. I should have insisted.

The two of them are smart and driven. They are also quite good at power and social dynamics. I don't think they are malevolent, but they are quite self-centered and have an excess of confidence (Kruger-Dunig effect).

For instance, when I started, I wanted to be equalitarian and empowering. So during the rounds (we talk about the patient, then put the order and see the patient) I let her do it. That was a mistake. With people like that if you give them just a little bit of power/authority they try to dominate you. She basically behaves like she's the boss sometimes and goes "Perfect", "very good" all the way. She's not only doing it to me but also to my boss who's 10 times the physician I am. So it's not even because I'm new in this role. In short: they're not respecting their place in the hierarchy, are not humble enough in my view and not respectful enough of their elders/hierarchy. So more, like entitled and playing power games. I'm not checking all of them, just some of them. And she got the message without me being obvious, she went from "Perfect!" to "Perfect thank you", which is an upgrade. They're also BFF (of course) and look alike (people mix them up all the time). So they actually do have quite a bit of power in team through this and them being good elements in the team.

My strategy to counter this I started to be less warm and higher power with them. I task them more and refuse their tasking if not warranted and not properly delivered (I also am here to help them so I do have to do things for them as well).

To the contrary, one of the resident is very humble and too humble. So to her I tell her: "do you think that what we did make sense?" to provoke her to be more assertive. So with her I'm giving more (more coaching) and I'm also more warm. I want to see her win. I want her to become better than the two above (petty personal desire I admit).

It was the first time that I did a performance review and I think I've been too nice. I'm someone who sees more the positive than the negative, alright. However, it was one of the two. I did not feel any need to revenge nor to go into an ego fight. However, she said herself that she was afraid to be sassy ("insolent" in french) and I reassured her. However, days after the performance review I thought: "actually she is, should have told her".

My boss who I respect a lot (she's one of the reasons I accepted this job) told me 2 days ago: "Continue to do good work". So it's a positive feed-back. I love this role with a mix between emergency, ward and neonatology. I have to move to one to the next during the day as problems arise. I also like the teaching, coaching, leadership and teamwork. I think this role will teach me more about leadership than any book will.

On the personal side, I was seeing this cool redhair Irish woman (I love redhairs). She's cool, funny and all. However she was a bit too fat for me. So after 5 dates (yes, we slept together) I did not pursue her further. I'm conflicted over this. I know what kind of woman I want: I'm looking for my blonde woman (but I'm also not so short-sighted that I cannot be open to other types of women). However, I feel sad as I somehow found somebody that I was attracted to with a great personality but after sometimes I got repulsed by the belly fat. I know it sounds a bit nasty but this is how it is. I'm curious what you guys think about this.

Meta: it's funny as I write this I feel like I'm writing more like Transitioned. That is in a more synthetic way. Just an observation.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Sounds good John, and overall good analyses.

One comment about the dating: I'd personally consider even telling her about the issue.

Something like "I like you, and at the same time I have preferences, just like anyone, and I'd like to see a flatter belly".

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John Freeman
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Hello Lucio,

thank you!

Regarding the woman yes your answer is more assertive. My intention was not to hurt her but I haven’t experienced with this kind of answer yet.

Something else about the two subordinates. I think they also want to test my skills and knowledge which is fair. It’s more about the way it’s done but it’s ok.

I also realized that the people who will challenge your authority by definition are your equals or subordinates. That’s logical but it helps to have an eye out for challenges. I’m saying this with humility though as I do have something to prove. Apart from the petty ego battles of course. I mean in terms of skills and knowledge. The games have to be addressed as we talk here.

Another observation is now I’m more sensitive to social scalping and virtue signaling. Boasting is actually social scalping as it subcommunicates « I’m better than all of you ». A friend was doing this and I could feel his value rising and at the same time it felt disagreeable as he was taking from us. So I don’t feel like seeing him as often now as he does it all the time. Out of insecurity yes but still. Another friend has now found an identity in doing humanitarian work, discovered global warming so now he joined the socialist party to « change things ». So far so good. The problem is that he was continually talking about politics (« bad » corporation while we do buy the gas and products they produce but we’re « innocent ») instead of vibing at a dinner. I could see myself in him when I was doing this in the past and it is value taking. I’m happy that I’m aware of it now (and hopefully don’t do it anymore). Because he has been virtue signaling so much out of nothing (no action) the whole group made fun of him when he was eating meat or not sharing (not very socialist nor ecologist). When one virtue signals one has the risk of the social backlash if he exhibits contradiction with his behaviour. All the status can be stripped from him and he can be ridiculed. As this was the case here.

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So the job is going well so far. Based on where I am currently in life, I decided to de-prioritize self-development a bit. I will only use TPM forum and PU.

Now I'm reading on pediatrics on my off days as I want to be really good at my job. Instead of listening to self-development audiobooks, I'm now listening to pediatrics podcasts.

I'm also sorting out all of my stuff from the past 20 years: my apartment, my basement, my computer. These are some of my objectives for this year: to sort my life out physically and electronically if you pass me the expression.

I bought my first car: an Audi A3 from 2012. It was a requirement for me to get the job as it's far away in train (1.5 hour door-to-door). I will save now about 45 min on each run. At first I wanted to find the cheapest car possible as it was not my desire to get a car. But then I realized I also want to enjoy it. I got the best of both Worlds with this car as I paid about 5'000 euros for it with a current market value of 8'500 euros and the price when bought new of 40'000 euros. So I got a good car for a great price. I'm very happy with the car.

On the self-development side, I see a psychologist about once a month specialized in gifted adult. That is very helpful to talk with someone who understands how my brain works. As being gifted has its perks and its price (social adaptation, self-esteem, mood, etc.). To be even emotionally has high pay off for people like me as we could get hyperactive in something and then burn out and get in a cycle of hyperactivity-burnout, etc. I'm not bipolar by any means that being said. As hyperactive I mean "too active". So I'm currently working out how to have the proper level of activity that is conducing to my happiness/balance.

I'm currently in a weird part of my life where I feel detached from many things: friends, family, etc. I want to do good and have a happy life. However, now that I feel better with myself I don't feel like I need so much anything pretty much. So I'm now in a phase where I have to find a new direction to find meaning in my life along with excitement and inspiration. I love my life, my friends, my family and you guys by the way. I just have a different relationship with all of it now. It's difficult to explain. Maybe with some distance I'll be able to understand the phase I'm in. More like a re-definition of my life. But not out of anger or desperation. More like out of stillness, observation and reason. It's a bit weird and I don't know yet if it's positive or negative (risk of excess of cynicism). I am now aware I was too attached/caring too much about what other people thought and wanted. I was even too attached to what I was going to do with my life. We'll see what will come out of it.

Regarding self-esteem, I listened to 2 great books. I understood (thank you Lucio) that self-esteem was the root cause of many things in my life. I also learned that improving one's self-esteem does not fix everything. It does not fix the power and social skills that we learn here. It does not do my job instead of me. It does not clean my apartment. I would say it's a good foundation to improve one's self-esteem but it's not a magic wand that solves everything from there. It helps though. For instance in one book she said that when we set too high goals we risk to fail and it hurts our self-esteem. That was me. Going back to the gym? Yes! I'll go 6 times a week. Shit I failed AGAIN. I realized that I failed not because I don't have enough willpower. It's because of my limitations as a person. It takes energy so I will be too tired/too sore to do it. So I now have more realistic goals about working out.

Regarding porn and watching Youtube/wasting time. Thanks to the psychologist, I realized I was using them as anxyolytics and antidepressors. Also to cope with the fact of living on my own. Now that I'm more aware of it I don't find porn nor youtube as appealing as it was. I'm almost done with it. Same thing with cigarettes. Here I did not stop yet.

So basically I'm in a good phase in my life where work is enjoyable, I'm treated with respect at work (now that I'm an attending nurses totally changed their attitude and even give me free passes because "I'm a chief" which I refuse of course: either the rule is for everyone or no one: unsaid rules but still). I have friends that I enjoy, see my family, have a stable financial situation. So first World problems as they say. Existential problems I mean. So my next goals will be to find my dream girl.

I'm also still working on my sleep habits. This is also connected to watching screens. Work in progress. But much better already.

Lucio Buffalmano, Mats G and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMats GBelRoberto

Rock on John!

And congrats on the new car, too.

Quick comment on this:

Quote from John Freeman on June 1, 2023, 8:38 pm

It helps though. For instance in one book she said that when we set too high goals we risk to fail and it hurts our self-esteem. That was me. Going back to the gym? Yes! I'll go 6 times a week. Shit I failed AGAIN. I realized that I failed not because I don't have enough willpower. It's because of my limitations as a person. It takes energy so I will be too tired/too sore to do it. So I now have more realistic goals about working out.

I think that this is where a lot of the motivational / inspirational self-help seems like helping, but often does the opposite.

The motivational self-help yells "you can do it - do it".

But it does it with everything -and rather extreme in all of them-.

Yes (and push HARD. Especially the days when you're tired or sick).

Eating healthy home-cooked food, no sugar, no carbs, and all of that?
Well but of course!

Approaching women?
5 every single day. At least.

Cardio and running?
Do the Goggins (you're not a pussy are you)

1h a day (and never touch your phone away or you're a phony)

Etc. etc.

Problem is... While that type of motivation may be good to get you started, it often gets you started the wrong way (in my opinion) and also sets you up for almost assured failure.

Even the terms of paragon it offers are just off.
How should those extreme personalities even be good role models for people who don't do what they do for life?

Slightly off-topic, but I guess in the end you decided against moving to Eastern Europe / Poland or Northern EU?

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John FreemanMats GBel
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Hello Lucio,

thank you very much for your answer! Excuse me for the late reply.

Yes, you're totally right. Just as I've been misled by the "seduction industry/community" I am starting to realize that I have been misled from the "self-help industry". People can give you all kinds of advice. One does not even know if this person is applying themselves the advice or if it's relevant to one's situation. One example is from some of the books, like the one on self-esteem. If you do what they say, you have to do 20 exercises taking 1 hour each. And sometimes all that is needed is the realization. At least that is how I operate. So it's no realistic.

Problem is... While that type of motivation may be good to get you started, it often gets you started the wrong way (in my opinion) and also sets you up for almost assured failure.

Definitely, this happened to me many times... Thank to your feed-back on the good life as I told you already I am now looking for a life that suits me. So this changed my whole approach to taking advice from this industry: is this relevant for me?

Also as I said I don't feel as much the need to read/listen to all these books anymore. Sometimes one does and it's fine. I needed it at some point and might need it in the future. However, with a healthier self-esteem I don't feel like I need to know all about negotiation, body language, psychology, dating, etc. anymore.

I feel much better and I trust myself to look for the resources I need as I need them. So when I face a problem, not just to fill all the gaps in my imperfect self. Like in the book "I'm ok". I don't regret anything as I had to walk this path to get to this realization. I learned a lot!

However I realized that consuming self-help does not mean that you improve. For instance with procrastination, books helped me to understand procrastination but the surest way to not procrastinate is to become a person that does the things now. So it's simpler than reading 5 books about it.

As you already know, self-help can become part of the intellectualization defense mechanism and I think I've been guilty of it. You live you learn. Maybe in sometime I will change my mind, who knows?

Regarding living in another country:

  • Poland: the wages are too low. I think I would be losing too much by going there. I like the mentality and the culture, but I think this will be a country where I'll be a tourist
  • Northern countries: I'm still considering it. As I told you, your advice of moving for our love life as a valid reason was eye opening. When I look on Tinder at the women there I'm attracted to 80% of them whereas where I live it's more like 10-20%. Also the standard of living is good there even if wages are not as high as Switzerland. The problem there is... the cold! I've been to all these countries and I understood why the vikings were tough. Also it's far away from my friends and family, but this is negotiable if I only go there for a year or 2. I'm getting older fast... I've got to be quick on this.

So this is where I am in terms of projects to move. I think it's worth pursuing my dream (woman). However, I'm in a stable period of my life. I now made peace with Switzerland and Swiss people. I love my country and now I understand and love them as well. Also now I do have a career start here. So for all these reasons like many people the cost of moving now is quite high as there is possible gain on the love life side and loss on many other aspects. So I'm still thinking and considering it. I have to find a way.

Edit: most of my suffering was coming from my work environment and now that I changed it changed my outlook on my living situation. Also, having a better social life helped me to tolerate better the close-mindedness and reservedness of city where I live. I don't find such close-mindedness in smaller city/country side. I'm talking about social reservedness. People are more authentic, open and direct in smaller cities like the town where I grew up. This is new and important information for me. So I think I've been too hard on Switzerland because of my working conditions (respect, working hours, dysfunctions, etc.) and the city mentality. Now that I work in a smaller hospital in a better work status with better working conditions and better colleagues I can see more the positive sides of Switzerland which are many. We still pay way too much for many things though. And the earning power does not always compensate fairly for it. However, the general political situation and system, the nature, the climate, the education of people (polite, respectful, generally kind), the development of the country makes up for it (for the moment in my perspective).

In short the better my life becomes here the less I feel like moving. I understand better people who did not move much or not at all. If they have all they need why would they move?

That being said, I still want to explore or push myself so if I'm moving (Canada, northern countries), I would go for 1-2 years. I already know that coming back I would have to work hard to rebuild my social life as from my previous stays abroad I learned that people re-organize their social life without you. I would also lose social status in the group and would have to rebuild it.

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Lucio BuffalmanoMats G

I fell for it for a period when it comes to nutrition.

This is why I still have a little of a personal beef with the various "gurus" that push this or that super-restrictive diet.

You know, all the various extremists of "sugar kills!", "cut all carbs", "go carnivore cause it's natural", "cut meat for longevity", etc. etc.

They're misguided at best, and predatory marketers at worst.

Today to me they're as bad for a healthy approach to nutrition as, say, Goggins is bad for a healthy approach to physical exercise.

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John Freeman
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